Questions on the OB4 system?

jdk99jdk99 Posts: 96 Baller
Blew out the ankle twice this year. Based on discussions on BOS, have decided on the OB4 but have a few questions for those in the know:

1) Anyone tried the Roxa shells now offered with the system? If so, thoughts?
2) I have Stradas currently. How well do these work with OB4?
3) In the off chance someone has tried both Stradas and Roxa, comparisons?


  • lakeaustinskierlakeaustinskier Posts: 399 Crazy Baller
    Also talk to @thanbogan. He's spent a lot of time dissecting the OB4 system. He's using the OB4 soft shells.

    I've had a pair of OB4s with Roxas for about a month now and here's my take.

    If you are on Stradas then why are you thinking about the Roxas? Completely different boot system.

    1). I was interested in trying something new since my FM E-Series (hybrid hard shells) are coming to the end of their life. And it's the end of the season, and I like the engineering behind the OB4s so why not try something?

    2). Since I was on the FM E-Series I picked the Roxas over the soft boot option. The Roxas seem to be well made and once you have the right buckle tension dialed in I like the ability to replicate the same buckle tension every single time. Stradas and similar bindings aren't an option for me since I've never been able to get comfortable on the lower "basketball shoe" type bindings.

    3). I'm not excited about the quality of liner that comes with the Roxa. It'll probably only last 3-4 months then I'll have to replace it with a better liner.

    4). The Roxa boots are much stiffer my E-Series (the OB4 instructions warn you about this). Quite honestly at times I've really struggled dialing in the Roxa boots/OB4 system with this additional stiffness. Stiffer boots are more responsive boots which is a more responsive/twitchier ski (if you can handle it). I seemed to have solved a lot of the stiffness and increased upper flexibility by running the top of the boots a bit looser than I am used to.

    5). Regardless of whatever binding you pick the OB4 system sits about 1/2 an inch above the surface of the ski. As a result I feel a bit "top heavy" on the ski. Maybe this additional height has added to the stiffness problem.

    6). At this point I have a love/hate relationship with the Roxas/OB4 system. If my technique is correct then my offside turns are much crisper with great angle off the ball. But bad technique (the increased stiffness and top heavy) absolutely kills me on the OB4s.

    7). No - I haven't yet taken a nasty fall and released. But I'm 48 years old and anything that I can try that might preserve my body from injury - I'm going to try.

    8). Considering that I'm giving feedback on these bindings I think that it is fair and proper to describe my skiing ability. Some days I can run 5-6 32s (34 mph) in a row then some days I struggle. It is quite possible that the stiffness of the bindings etc. might be beyond my current skill level.

    I've exchanged several e-mails with the founder of OB4 (Mike Mosley) about the system. Mike has been very helpful and has given me some great feedback about the bindings.

    Will I keep the OB4s? or will I stay on the FMs another year? At this point I'm still trying to figure it out - but I'm rapidly running out of time in Texas where its really starting to get cold and windy.

    I hope this helps.
    Ted Thomson, Austin Texas, Aquaplex
  • jdk99jdk99 Posts: 96 Baller
    @lakeaustinskier…thanks for taking the time to write such a thorough response. Great input. Much appreciated
  • JJVDMZNJJVDMZN Posts: 128 Baller
    edited November 2014
    My son uses the Strada Boots with the OB4 system, he doesn't feel any difference between his old setup and the OB4 setup.
    I cannot give you any comparison input because I changed Ski (Connelly V to Senate), Boots (Sidewinder to Vapor) as well as the OB4 System. What I can tell you is that my son and I can/are now using the same ski with our own boots (he is RFF, I'm LFF) so less skis on the boat, not to mention the cost saving of another ski.

    My wife uses the Roxa Boot and OB4 system (changed from Sidewinder) on her Connelly V and she loves the Boot, the Sidewinder would hurt her heel when it released.
    She does not feel any difference regarding the responsiveness of the Roxa Boot, maybe because she skis at 46-49Km/h.

    I do like the ease of putting the Boots on and taking off the OB4 system

    One thing I would suggest is to take your Stradas to a Shoe repair shop and have the Rubber piece on the heel of the boot replaced with something less flexible like leather. This would prevent your foot releasing from the Boot. If you foot releases from the boot and the OB4 system as well you will be without a boot (it will sink)

  • BlueSkiBlueSki Posts: 965 Mega Baller
    I have the OB4 with a Reflex white-cuff front and I bought a Roxa boot for the rear because the liner is thicker and the boot did not cut in to my healing ankle like the Reflex did. I have to wait for spring to see if I change the rear boot, but regardless, I plan to get my son the OB4 with Roxa boots in the spring. I am impressed with the quality of the shell, it is very solid. I have also had a similar experience as @lakeaustinskier‌, Mike and Eric are very helpful.

    As for adjusting to the system, I have been using hardshells for years, but I did have to move the plate back to stock (I had my old bindings forward as I played with Vapor settings). On a tip from Stisher, I also used fewer screws to mount the plate to help the ski flex as intended. The OB4 plate is far more flexible than my old Reflex plate.
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 7,054 Mega Baller
    If your current shell can work with the system, I'd start there for sure. Then AFTER you have it working to your liking, you could consider mounting a different shell to it.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • JJVDMZNJJVDMZN Posts: 128 Baller
    Since my last post, I have had two falls (@ 46km/h) crossing the wake and in both cases both boots released at the same time.
    This made the fall a lot easier, and also put to rest the concerns I had that both boots might not release.
  • MattPMattP Posts: 6,332 Mega Baller
    @jdk99‌ I have not tired the Roxa shell yet but I might upgrade to one here in the Spring. I think if you are used to the Strada stay with the Strada but if you want a more rigid upgrade the Roxa shell would be the way to go. It is very similar to the hardshell sold by Reflex because Roxa makes those as well. The Strada will mount like any other binding to the OB4 plates.

    @JJVDMZN‌ good to hear you got your system dialed in!
  • jdk99jdk99 Posts: 96 Baller
    thanks @MattP. Ordered my OB4 with Roxas this weekend. I plan to mount the Stradas initially but transition to the Roxas as I get used to the system.
  • JJVDMZNJJVDMZN Posts: 128 Baller
    @jdk99 you will not feel any difference when changing to OB4.
    You only feel a difference when you change to the Roxa Boots.
    If I was you, I'd use the Stradas until they are beyond repair.
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